(Combined Sources)–Bavarian premier minister Edmund Stoiber announced in the German Parliament that if the Bavarian-based Christian Social Union (CSU) comes to power in Germany–Turkey would never become a full member of the European Union (EU)."
Stoiber–who was narrowly defeated by Social Democratic Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in Germany’s 2002 general election–has been an outspoken critic of Turkey’s entry into the EU–saying: "An out-of-Europe nation like Turkey with its different history and different cultural traditions will not fit into Europe."
Stoiber warned that Turkey’s membership issue would play a big part of election campaigning.
Sixty-six percent of Germans believe the EU’s eastward expansion is having a negative effect on jobs–compared with only 2 percent who feel the opposite. And the views are not much different when it comes to a further enlargement of the EU. Two-thirds of Germans are opposed.
"Turkey’s full membership will break down because of the free will of Europe’s women and men." Stoiber said. "Our goal is a privileged partnership–because we do not want to make excessive deman’s of Europe."
He also warned that if there is a change of power–he would resort to all legal means possible–as well as personal effort to ensure that Turkey does not gain full membership to the EU.
The CSU is the sister party to the conservative opposition Christian Democrats. Over the past few days–Angela Merkel–leader of the Christian Democrats–has been trying to limit the dissent of her traditionally pro-European party–whose members have in recent months been more outspoken about future enlargemen’s–particularly the idea of Turkey joining.
Merkel herself has called for a "privileged partnership" between the EU and Turkey that would give the country trade–economic–and other rights similar to EU countries but would fall short of full membership.
But Stoiber deman’s that "the German public–possibly through their state parliamen’s–must have more to say about EU issues."